Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Watching My Sanity Drift Away

Is it possible for a child to be expelled from pre-school? I'm asking the question in all seriousness; Rakes was put in time out FOUR times during a three hour period today by Mrs. Becka.

His crimes? Biting a child's finger, hitting his buddy on the head with a toy motorcycle, saying he'd washed his hands after going to the bathroom when he CLEARLY hadn't, and taking a stand against oppression by the man. Or woman, in this case. (He refused to help pick up toys with the others. Twice.)

After reading him the riot act when I got home, explaining how he needed to respect and obey his teachers, and telling him all about what Marine Corp boot camp is like, I actually thought I had gotten through to him.

He then proceeded to wipe the tomato sauce on his mouth off with his sleeve, hit his sister with a diaper ( a new one thankfully) and tried to show Trot all the different ways to apply a UFC arm bar submission move to force a tap out.

I'm at a loss on what to do from here on out. Threats don't work, talking to him does nothing, and I'm pretty sure the next option will land me in jail. Or at the very least a visit from Social Services and a probation officer. Frankly, I'm not ready to deal with all of that just yet, so I just figure come middle school I'll get my fill. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to share with the class.

Strangely enough, a visit from my Pop seemed to have calmed down not only Rakes, but Trot and Ciera as well.

They aren't that still when they are asleep.

Who knew my Dad was The Child Whisperer?


CC said...

Paging Jo Frost! On the next episode of Supernanny... apply now :D

Tex said...

maybe he was hungry, he was imitating the Three Stooges, doesn't spit count as cleaning?, and perhaps he didn't make the mess.

those are my excuses for Rakes today. :)

Ted D said...

Carol, I've got a feeling that if this ever happened, it would NEVER air. They don't want Jo to appear on camera running away crying. ;)

And Tex. Don't make excuses for the boy; Ang is seriously considering taking him out of pre-school. Do you realize what this will do to my love life? She'd have him all day, EVERYDAY.

I might as well join a monestary; one that watches Red Sox games of course, but still.

Krystle THE Red Sox Oasis said...

Oh wow...I don't have anything to say about this, I guess good luck will do? The best of child development that I have is a class I took last year in high school.

Try 3 strikes with him and take away one of his favorite things for the day? That's all I have for you.

Now I need to crawl into bed, good luck again!

Ted D said...

Feel better Krystle. And we're approaching Defcon 5. But thanks for your support. :)

Tree Newt said...

Dad as the Child Whisperer. Hmmmmmm....where were those skills when I was a kid?

He'll be alright, bro. He's just testing your limits. I know exactly what he needs: responsibility. I'll gladly loan it to you in the form of a 80 lbs. Golden Retriever who answers to the name "Rusty."

5 minutes in, Rakes would be on the ground in the fetal position.

Either that, or he'd have a saddle on Rusty and would ride off into the sunset.

Ted D said...

//Either that, or he'd have a saddle on Rusty and would ride off into the sunset.//

I've got a sinking feeling this would be the final result. Are you kidding me? Rakes vs Rusty? You'd be better off sending him to obedience school.

Rakes would wipe the floor with him.

~**Dawn**~ said...

Not to freak you out, but I had a two-year-old girl get "asked" to leave daycare. But she was a serial face-scratcher. Actually left a scar on a little boy's cheek & his parents threatened to pull him if she stayed. (You're not supposed to tell which kid was the one who did it, but hey, at two, they will tell you themselves!) So rather than lose the rest of the families, she was shown the door. That being said, we had another little boy that sounds a lot like Rakes with the energy level & the testing of limits. He was allowed to stay. ;-) There ends my experience iwth preschoolers. I had the babies.

Ted D said...

Dawn, I'm actually sort of worried this is where we're headed. He loves school and his teacher but is just pushing the limits on what he can get away with. I read him the riot act last night and he seems like he's sorry, but it's getting to the point where I don't know how long his teacher and the administrator are going to put up with the disruptions.

And so begins his life of crime.

~**Dawn**~ said...

Honestly, Ted, after working with children, if he's not hurting other children repeatedly, behavior alone never got a child ejected from our preschool program, and I was there for five years. I have seen some very spirited kids in my time. The *only* one that ever got asked to leave was that one little girl. And we had chronic biters, kids that would climb the cubbies & leap off, and a family of three kids that I swore if they had a fourth, I would quit on the spot. How old is Rakes -- 3 or 4?

Ted D said...

Morning Dawn. Rakes is 4 and he really is a sweet little boy. And every action he's had a reason to act out, but he's got to learn that he can't just whack the other kids upside the head or ignore the teacher when he feels like it.

We're going to sit down with the teacher one day this week and try to figure it out.

Tree Newt said...

Why can't he just whack the kids on the head for messing with him? Is retaliation a bad thing? Should I not be teaching that to baby C?

You realize I'm kidding, of course.

Ted D said...

Mattie, he's got the classic "little man complex" just like his Dad.

God help him.

~**Dawn**~ said...

Trust me when I say that if this preschool teacher has been doing this for longer than ten minutes, Rakes isn't the first & he won't be the last, and if she can't handle it, she's in the wrong business. A good sit-down with her to brainstorm may work wonders. She may have ideas you never even dreamed of. I know I often did. I once regularly babysat for pur pastor's three kids when I was twelve. I remember when they first arrived at our church & he introduced his family -- his wife, his two daughters and then "This is... well... we'll just pray for Jack." Holy Tasmanian Devil. But he wasn't a bad kid, just brought new meaning to the term "busy child."

Ted D said...

Dawn, she's new to the school, but has taught pre school before. Ang thinks that we need to sit down and talk with her about some positive reinforcement for Rakes. We'll see; he's really a sweet kid, just "active" and he loves school.

If you have any ideas, email me any suggestions on what we can do as his parents to try and help the situation. I'd appreciate any help you can offer.

Redbeard76 said...

Just keep telling yourself: it's just a phase, it's just a phase.

Or have gramps move in full time, you don't mind converting the garage, right?

scott h said...

ok for the last time here we go. I assume since you threw a open invitation to the Internet viewers for help you will listen to your older , wiser, more experienced, better looking brother-in-law.

Turn off the Tv.Sit young mr. Cassedy down and find out which of his games is his favorite. I assume it will be his Starwars game? Explain to him that he wont get to play that game or any game until friday and if come friday he has a good report from school, no biting,kicking, hitting below the belt then Rakes AND HIS DADDY (I'm assuming that is you) will play thirty min. of Starwars. the key is just Rakes and HIS DAD.

THe key is no video games without a good report. You don't have to wait till fri. you could base it on a every school day , Its also important that he ties getting to play and playing with dad to his good behavior.

If this doesn't work my next favorite is to take him by the guys out washing cars and ask if he wants to do that for the rest of his life. Point out the kid in 100.00 jeans , 125.00 jordans and all the older ladies giving him 10.00 tips for doing what he was paid to do.

~**Dawn**~ said...

How new to the school is she? Having a new teacher is disrupting to kids, especially at Rakes' age. Makes me wonder if he isn't acting out a bit to test her limits, if she hasn't been there long. I will have to really give this some thought, but the most important factor that never changes, no matter the child, family or situation, is consistency. If he has a solid set of rules to follow both at school & at home, there are fewer limits to test. I had basic rules even for my babies, and they were always enforced, no exceptions:
1. No hurting our friends. If we hurt our friends, then we have to sit for a bit (just a minute or two for this age), until we're ready to be nice again.
2. No throwing Weebles. Weebles *hurt*. We can throw stuffed animals, soft blocks, Nerf balls, but if we throw the Weebles, they go away.
3. When we are going outside, we all hold hands. No holding hands, we don't move an inch.
4. If you throw your food on the floor (on purpose, not by accident), you're not hungry. We only have four highchairs & eight babies. Someone else is hungry. You can get down, they can have a turn & we'll try again later.

Set rule, set consequence. The parents were always amazed by the fact that the babies "got it" & that I didn't lose my mind in a room full of one-year-olds (eight of them, one of me, as I worked with a girl who literally had no child care experience, didn't even know how to change a diaper). When they would ask, I would share my rules & they would often use them at home as well. It was hysterical to see the babies understand the rules/consequences. I had one little boy that hit someone because they took his toy away. As soon as he hit the other child, he plopped right down on his bottom, self-imposed "time out" & looked at me waiting for the ok to play again. Sounds like I was a drill sargeant but the kids thrived, because they knew what was expected of them & what would happen if they broke one of the "house rules."

Whew. That's a long-winded way of saying maybe you could establish some rules with the teacher for Rakes that would work both at home & at school. I bet you actually have similar rules for him, but sometimes the key is making the terminology the same, as well the consequences. Sometimes hearing "no hitting & you need to be quiet" one place and "hands to yourself & use your inside voice" in another place don't sound like the same rule to a 4-year-old.

Ted D said...

Stephen, I CAN'T have my Dad move in because if he did, I'd have to kill him. Besides he can only handle kids in very small doses. But it's a good idea in theory.

Bub, we actually do that with the video game and it works for a while. I think part of his problem is he's been sick with one thing or another since Christmas and all this really blew up around then. But I WILL tie it into making it with me AND him, not just him getting to play. Good idea, Gramps. As for the car wash, the way you described it may just encourage him!

Dawn, what you said you did is pretty much what the school does; it's a church based Pre-school and it sounds close to what you are describing. Funny thing is, when he goes to church on Wed night and Sunday morning, he's perfect. I'm leaning with you on the point that he's testing the limits on what he can get away with, plus the fact he's really competitive and when the other kids get a sticker for being good and he doesn't, he gets pretty upset.

The terminology thing is a good point too. I'm pretty sure we don't talk to him the same way his teacher does, and it's a good idea to get the two sides as close as possible. Big thanks to you and Scotty for the suggestions and I'll have Ang read the comments so she can see them too.

Between you and Bub, it's like I've got Dear Abby and some deranged version of Dr. Phil at my disposal!

~**Dawn**~ said...

Oooo... Wanting to get that sticker is something that might... er... stick with him. =P Maybe reinforcing why he didn't get a sticker this time & pointing out what he needs to do to get one next time will help. Even if he's been told this in the past, sometimes it takes a few repititions to make it part of his mental process. You have the benefit of his verbal skills to help with communication. (I had to keep things pretty simple, because my munchkins were all Trot's age.) Just like Scott's suggestion to have him connect the fun thing with the positive behavior, somehow he has to connect what he needs to do in order to get the sticker or the fun activity.

Ted D said...

Good point, Dawn. We do talk with him about it but maybe we've just got to hammer the idea home with him over and over.

Between your rational, well thought out suggestions and Scott's ramblings that somehow make sense, hopefully we've got somewhere to start!

Thanks again. Much appreciated.

~**Dawn**~ said...

You're quite welcome. I know I am sharing this without the benefit of kids of my own, so take it with a grain of salt. I've always had a sixth sense when it comes to children though. It really was my calling but it just doesn't pay the bills, unless you want to actually teach & I don't want the politics that go with that.

One more thought. When you talk to him about the stickers & what he has to do to get a sticker, sometimes change it around. Ask *him* what he has to do to get a sticker. Then you will know if what he's being told is really sinking in. And then make it part of the routine every school day to ask if he got one and then talk about why he did or didn't, right away while it's still fresh in his memory. Kids & routine are like PB&J.

Ted D said...

Oh he knows. He can recite it back to me word for word. It's just sometime between leaving the house and finishing up school it all goes to pieces. But knowing you got your degree in this and worked with kids for so long, I really value your opinions and suggestions.

Sometimes when it's your OWN child you miss the forest for all the trees.

Krystle THE Red Sox Oasis said...

Ted - I'm feeling a lot better and back at the school -- also typing this comment at school 0=].

Well I wish you guys luck in whatever happens. Little boys will be little boys I guess =]!

Krystle THE Red Sox Oasis said...

Oh yeah another thing...He sounds like PLENTY of teenage boys in my school. Maybe he can get this out of his system now and be an angel for higher school. Is that possible?

Stacy said...

He sounds like Jared at that age; he had to test EVERY limit. I didn't know if I'd live to see another day sometimes, but now he's 10 and much better. However, he is writing his spelling words 10times each right now for giving me major attitude when I was trying to help him study. :(

My advice: always look at him once he's gone to sleep at night. That precious little boy will help you forget the day's escapades.

Ted D said...

//Maybe he can get this out of his system now and be an angel for higher school.//

Do you also have oceanfront property in Nebraska to sell me?

Stacy, I could get Rakes to write his a,b,c's out for me I guess, but that would only lead to an endless cycle of questions. You're right about the watching him sleep part though.

Krystle THE Red Sox Oasis said...

lol Ted -- I haven't even been to NE. The best thing that I can give you is that my uncle has a camp up in VT. it's not near a beach and it's not up for sale anytime soon. =]

beckperson said...

Ted, it wears me out just reading this stuff. Good luck, my friend.

Ted D said...

Becks, how do you think And and I feel? ;)

It's really not that bad and the good far outweighs the bad. It just grinds on you at times. One day I'll wake up and they'll all be gone and I'll wish for days like yesterday.

Thanks for the well wishes. Would you like to volunteer to keep them for a long weekend? ;)